Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:29 am 
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The San Francisco Film Society French Cinema Now series
Oct. 24-30, 2012

Below is the series schedule with titles and SFFS blurbs. I will review these ten films. Actually I have already reviewed five of them, Camille Rewinds (NYFF 2012), Donoma (ND/NF 2012), Hors Satan (Paris Movie Report II, 2011), Louise Wimmer (R-V 2012), and Sister (Paris Movie Report, May 2012). I will review the other five during the SFFS series. Click on the titles below for my reviews. Go to the Film Society website to buy tickets for the screenings in San Francisco or see the SFFS schedule page here.

The Filmleaf Festival Coverage thread for these reviews is here.

The program:

Camille Rewinds
Noémie Lvovsky (Camille redouble, France 2012)

OPENING NIGHT FILM Camille, a 40-something mother in the midst of a painful divorce from her high-school sweetheart, gets the chance when she passes out at a New Year’s Eve party and wakes up back in the ’80s where everyone reacts to her as if she were 16 again.
Wednesday October 24, 6:30 pm, Saturday October 27, 3:30 pm
Landmark's Embarcadero Center Cinema Buy Tickets

Djinn Carrénard (France 2011)

This bold and confident first feature from Haitian filmmaker Djinn Carrénard layers issues of race, class, religion and gender within a variety of intersecting storylines involving multiple youngsters in Paris.
Wednesday October 24, 9:15 pm
Sunday, October 28, 1:30 pm
Landmark's Embarcadero Center Cinema Buy Tickets

Elie Wajeman (Alyah, France 2012)

Lacking the spiritual motivation that spurs many Jews to make Aliyah—a return to the Holy Land—low-level drug dealer Alex instead sees it as a chance to escape his current life, specifically the burden of his older brother Isaac, who is perpetually on the brink of disaster. Thursday, October 25, 6:30 pm
Monday, October 29, 9:00 pm
Landmark's Embarcadero Center Cinema Buy Tickets

My Worst Nightmare
Anne Fontaine (Mon pire cauchemar, France 2011)

Opposites collide to humorous effect in Anne Fontaine's satire of the Parisian bourgeois. An uptight gallerist and her partner hire a boorish Belgian construction worker for a remodeling job and he teaches them both how to enjoy life a bit more.
Thursday October 25, 8:45 pm
Saturday October 27, 6:30 pm
Landmark's Embarcadero Center Cinema Buy Tickets

All Together
Stéphane Robelin (Et si on vivait tous ensemble?, France/Germany 2011
Set against the backdrop of France's economic crisis, this trenchant crowd-pleaser depicts a group of elderly friends who decide to pool their resources and live out their sunset years under the same roof. Friday, October 26, 4:00pm
Saturday, October 27, 1:15pm
Landmark's Embarcadero Center Cinema Buy Tickets

Mobile Home
François Pirot (Belgium/Luxembourg/France 2012)

Simon and Julien are handsome girl chasers, handicapped by the fact that they are out of work and living with their parents. Using money that his folks had set aside for his future, Simon decides to buy the titular vehicle and asks his best pal to join him on the road toward new adventures and locales.
Friday October 26, 6:30pm
Sunday October 28, 9:00 pm
Landmark's Embarcadero Center Cinema Buy Tickets

A World Without Women
Guillaume Brac (Un monde sans femmes, France 2011)

Patricia and her daughter Juliette have rented a cottage in a lazy, beachfront town. Both of them play a back-and-forth emotional tease with Sylvain, the flat's schlubby proprietor, and the resulting psychological effects on all parties are explored with subtlety and impressive acting.
Friday October 26, 9:15 pm
Sunday October 28, 6:30 pm
Landmark's Embarcadero Center Cinema Buy Tickets

Hors Satan
Bruno Dumont (France 2011)

Suffused with elemental images—fire, sky, sea, land—Bruno Dumont's latest provocation concerns an unnamed drifter disturbing the balance in a seaside town.
Saturday October 27, 9:00 pm
Monday October 29, 6:15 pm
Landmark's Embarcadero Center Cinema Buy Tickets

Louise Wimmer
Cyril Mennegun (France 2011)

This devastating portrait of a middle-aged woman living out of her car puts a compelling face on the millions of people suffering from Europe's current financial woes.
Sunday October 28, 4:30 pm
Tuesday October 30, 9:00 pm
Landmark's Embarcadero Center Cinema Buy Tickets

Ursula Meier (L’enfant d’en Haut, France/Switzerland 2011
Reminiscent of the brand of social realism perfected by the Dardennes brothers and starring Léa Seydoux, this is a powerfully acted story of siblings living in the proximity of a Swiss ski resort.
Tuesday October 30, 6:15 pm
Landmark's Embarcadero Center Cinema


My favorite of these is SISTER, by a mile: one of the year's best foreign films. For cinephiles HORS SATAN is a must-see, and DONOMA and ALIYAH and A WORLD WITHOUT WOMEN are first films by exciting new directors. I enjoyed the very French remake of PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED, a big hit in France, Noémie Lvovsky's CAMILLE REWINDS. For a socially responsible movie LOUISE WIMMER is worth watching. The other three you can take or leave. This is a good small selection. However, bear in mind that the most important French language films of the year besides SISTER were not included here. But they have US releases: Haneke's AMOUR, Leos Carax's HOLY MOTORS (both NYFF), Jacques Audiard's RUST AND BONE (US release coming). Watch for them, and for SISTER. Metacritic rating of SISTER: 81; of HOLY MOTORS: 86. AMOUR and RUST AND BONE aren't out in the US yet (Oct. 29, 2012) but will rate high. A great new French film about politics, released this time last year in Paris and shown in several US festivals: Pierre Schöller's THE MINISTER. Other titles that might have been included are Matthieu Kassowitz's REBELLION, Robert Guédiguian's SNOWS OF KILAMANJARO. Don't forget what was not only the most successful French film of the past year but 2nd biggest French box office film ever, INTOUCHABLES, still showing in New York.

©Chris Knipp. Blog:

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